Superintendent, School Board acknowledge wrongdoing

At the District 202 School Board meeting on Dec. 13, Superintendent Eric Witherspoon responded to comments made by Student Representative Barbara Tomaradze, who criticized the administration’s handling of the Lorenzo Medrano investigation in March 2021. On Nov. 8, Tomaradze addressed the School District 202 board about the situation.

I don’t think I have to explain our opinions on that, or why we feel the emotions we would feel as students. But, you know, I understand this is your reputation—this is the school’s reputation—but these are our lives, and we want to make sure nobody’s put into danger because of the protection of other employees at ETHS,” said Tomaradze.

School board president Pat Savage-Williams, promised Tomaradze the board would make a future comment on the situation. 

At the board meeting this past Monday, Witherspoon began by stating the District 202 School Board and ETHS administration “can’t respond publicly to personnel allegations.” 

However, he described the process used by the administration to conduct the investigation after students filed incident reports to the Dean’s office and a subsequent investigation led by the Human Resources office.

In his remarks, Witherspoon said, “We were still in the midst of the pandemic, and there were allegations of misconduct against the former employee. And an investigation was completed at that time.” 

Witherspoon elaborated on the investigation, expressing the ways in which future situations could be improved.  

“We are reviewing how it was handled, and we are reviewing what processes could be put in place to make sure that we modify or even improve how it was handled.” 

Witherspoon concluded his opening statement, by echoing back to Tomaradze’s comments at the Nov. 8 school board meeting. 

“In my opinion, ETHS could have done better,” expressed Witherspoon. “And that is why we are looking at the processes to make sure that there are some additional things put in place.”